ANN ARBOR, Mich., November 02, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New research enabled by CareEvolution’s research platform indicates commercially available wearable devices show promise for monitoring and predicting population changes in COVID-19 activity and infection rates up to 12 days earlier than CDC data alone. This method of using wearable devices for monitoring infection rates complements existing methods for monitoring viral diseases, including medical appointments, laboratory test results, and laboratory testing. wastewater by providing an early signal for changes in disease prevalence.
This data comes from DETECT, a collaborative study launched at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic by Scripps Research in partnership with CareEvolution and The Rockefeller Foundation. The study uses CareEvolution’s digital clinical trial and research platform, MyDataHelps™, where researchers collect resting heart rate and step count from wearable devices and self-reported data (eg, outcomes of testing, symptoms, and demographic information) from thousands of participants across the United States.
On September 22, Lancet Digital Health published a study based on DETECT data, showing that wearables can identify variations in individual data, perhaps before the participant experiences any symptoms, which provides an early indication of viral infection. Researchers have shown that tracking changes in this sensor data can significantly improve predictions for the seven-day moving average of COVID-19 infection rates up to 12 days into the future when compared to CDC data. only.
“Passive, continuous monitoring through wearables could unlock a deeper understanding at the population level of early physiological responses to viruses,” said co-author Edward Ramos, Ph.D. ., Principal Science Officer at CareEvolution and co-founder of the Digital Trials Center at Scripps Research. “With the continued increase in the prevalence of fitness trackers or smart watches, there is the potential to not only improve the monitoring of the infection with COVID-19, but the onset of other viral respiratory diseases.”
Relative to other data collections intended for viral disease surveillance, such as wastewater analysis, sensor-based surveillance provides inexpensive data that complements traditional surveillance tactics, providing predictive population-level viral infection trends. Integrating sensor-based data with traditional monitoring methods can be critical for generating actionable insights for future predictions of COVID-19, other emerging viruses, and seasonal epidemic.
The DETECT study launched on March 25, 2020, and is open to any adult (aged ≥18 years) living in the USA who has a Fitbit or a smartwatch or fitness tracker that connects to Apple HealthKit or Google Fit . Participants joined the study by downloading the MyDataHelps™ app, available on Android and iPhone operating systems. Learn more about the DETECT study.
Funding for the study included support in part from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the US National Institutes of Health, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Amazon Web Services.
CareEvolution is a health technology company headquartered in Ann Arbor. The organization has partnered with research teams across the country, including the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, the University of Michigan, the National Institutes of Health, and the Scripps Research Digital Trials Center. These partners use MyDataHelps™ for projects such as All of us Research Program, RECOVER, PowerMom, Say Yes! COVID Screening, and the electronic Framingham Heart Study, with nearly 2 million mHealth participants, over 55k EHRs connected and over 20 million kits distributed to participants across the United States.
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